12 June 2009
ROME 1591 -- CATANI, Baldo. La pompa funerale Fatta dall'Ill.mo & R.mo S.r Cardinale Montalto nella traportatione dell'ossa di Papa Sisto il Quinto. Rome: Stamperia Vaticana, 1591.
4o (230 x 176 mm). Two engraved plates, including the plate of the catafalque by HIERONYMUS RAINALDUS ROMANUS after the design of DOMINICO FONTANA and 12 full-page engravings. Contemporary limp vellum (some minor soiling). Provenance: Library of the Eusebian order in Urbino (inscription on title); Miss Sarah Sophia Banks (signature dated 1814 on A3r); Royal Institution of Great Britain (discreet blindstamp on title).
The festive reburial of POPE SIXTUS V (Felice Peretti di Montalto, 1521-1590, after his death in 1590, was the first to feature a papal catafalque. This is shown in the second plate, facing a plan of the structure. The traditional funeral ceremonies were held at St. Peters, but Sixtus V's reburial marked the beginning of the cult of relics in Counter Reformation Rome. He chose to be buried in the Sistine Chapel (named in his honor as its founder) in the S. Maria Maggiore (or Basilica Liberiana) and he wished to be portrayed in a humble position: not seated on the papal throne, but kneeling in prayer without the crown. Berlin 3188; Drugulin 837; Ruggieri 742; Vinet 586.
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